The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF) co-hosted a World AIDS Day event at UCLA’s Art and Global Health Center in partnership with the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and UCLA’s Center for World Health. Taking on the performance style format of Sex Squad, UCLA’s Sex-Ed theater collective, the event presented students with an opportunity to be part of #GenEndIt. The UNAIDS #GenEndIt initiative is meant to engage and empower our youth to be the generation to end AIDS.
The event included performances from ETAF Ambassador, Daniel Franzese of HBO’s Looking, who performed his new holiday song “Young Santa.” Franzese had the audience cracking up with the safe sex undertones in his lyrics.
Newly named ETAF Ambassador and actor, Danny Pintauro shared a monolog detailing the early struggles he had communicating his HIV+ status to love interests.
There were quite a few special moments including Elizabeth Taylor and Nelson Mandela’s respective grandsons joining on-stage, as a symbol of the next generation “carrying the torch” in the fight against HIV/AIDS– a fight in which both Ms. Taylor and Mandela were leaders. “My grandfather, and your beautiful grandmother,” Kweku directed to Tarquin, “started making sure we could kill the stigma around HIV and AIDS.”
“She gave her voice to this cause completely,” Tarquin said of his grandmother’s fight against AIDS.
Charlize Theron sent a special video message in support of the program, and Jake Glaser, son of Elizabeth and Paul Michael Glaser, shared memories of his mother and sister who lost their battle with AIDS years ago. “UCLA has been at the forefront of tackling HIV and AIDS since day one,” Jake noted to the thoughtful audience of Bruins.
During the program, ETAF’s Managing Director, Joel Goldman, announced that the foundation will provide funding to expand UCLA’s Sex Squad program into colleges in the south, where over 40% of all new HIV infections in the U.S. occur, specifically in the 13-24 age group.
Presentation from current and former UCLA Sex Squad and World Arts and Cultures students also helped inspire the audience to join other youth working toward an end of AIDS by 2030.
After the program, vans offered free HIV tests on campus.
To join this conversation on social media please use #GenEndIt and #WorldAIDSDay